The Almond belongs to the same stone fruit family as plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines, and apricots. One of the most popular uses of the Almond has been for its oil, which continues to be used for both health benefits as well as cosmetic applications.
Almond Oil has two variants: Bitter Almond Oil and Sweet Almond Oil.
The Bitter variety is derived from the bitter almonds of the botanical known as Prunus dulcis, var. Amara, which grows pink flowers. These Almonds are broad and short in shape, containing a compound called Amygdalin. When wild bitter Almond is crushed, chewed, or processed, the Amygdalin turns into the poisonous liquid commonly known as Cyanide, however, Bitter Almond Oil, which is considered to be an essential oil, does retain medicinal properties and benefits, making it safe for external application.
Bitter almond oil is used for a variety of health benefits. It is helpful for muscle spasms, bacterial infections, fungal infections, pain, digestive issues, and for coughs as well. Its versatility comes from its potent properties as a vermifuge, febrifuge, bactericidal, germicidal, fungicidal, sedative, anesthetic, aperient, diuretic, anti-intoxicating, anti-carcinogenic, and antispasmodic substance.
Please note that Bitter Almond oil is only for external use and not for ingestion.